English Period 7
9 May 2013
The Punished and the Pardoned
The woeful tale of Juliet and her Romeo ended with numerous casualties, casualties that could have been avoided if not for mistakes made by characters in the play. In light of Romeo and Juliet’s suicide, Prince Escalus declares, “some shall be pardoned, and some punishèd” for their mistakes. (V.iii.319) Among the punished should stand those who played the largest role in the suicides, and among the pardoned should stand those who deserve absolution. Throughout the tale of the two star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet rely on their closest confidant to keep their almost sacrilegious relationship a secret. Their closest confidant, the supposedly righteous Friar Lawrence deserves a major punishment, such as death. From the start, Romeo went to the friar for guidance. In Act II, Scene iii, Romeo sees the friar for the first time in the play. In this scene, Romeo entrusts his secret love of “the fair daughter of rich Capulet” (line 62) and convinces a contradictious Friar Lawrence to marry them. Similarly, Juliet confides in the friar as well. After finding out about her arranged marriage to County Paris, Juliet seeks help from the friar’s “wisdom” (IV.i.53) to come up with a plan that will stop the marriage and allow her and her Romeo to live “happily ever after.” Unfortunately, this immense trust failed the lovers when Friar Lawrence created the elaborate plan that would lead to their demise. Moreover, the friar created the plan specifically to cover his tracks, because of his cowardice and fear of the families. finding out about secretly him marrying Romeo and Juliet. Not only did the friar responsible for indirectly killing Romeo and Juliet, but he also married them without informing the Capulets or the Montagues. He deserves a punishment as vile as execution for his actions. Also among the punished is the Nurse. The Nurse has played a big role in raising Juliet. At the time, the...
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